OUTSOURCE DESTINATION: THE PHILIPPINES

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The Philipppines has notably the world’s second-largest English-speaking population. And is said to be fast catching up to India.

Having an outstanding literacy rate of nearly 94%, the Philippines has considerably a large talent pool of information technology(IT) eligible professionals and a very cost-competitive telecommunications infrastructure. The island nation also ranks third when it comes to Knowledge and Information-based jobs in the 2002 Global Technology Index research recently conducted by the META Group. And about three million college graduates affiliate with the workforce each and every year, providing a large source of talent.

Being an American colony for a long period of time, (approximately up to 50 years), the Philippines possesses a Westernized culture, an exceptional noteworthy trait that simply determines the nation from other offshore locations. Although the country is Asian in orientation, Filipinos definitely watch American TV and hence, are able to communicate efficiently in American English.

These past few years, the Philippines has dramatically become of choice for call center outsourcing, and is specializing in customer support services. Most leading multinationals have chosen the Philippines as their global center for customer service due to the Filipinos’ very high level of English proficiency and a strong customer familiarization. American OnLine, the largest U.S. Internet service provider, manages to have a staff of nearly 600 at its local based call center located Clark, Pampanga. Caltex, Procter & Gamble, Barnes and Noble, among others, have now established large-scale service contact centers here in the Philippines.

Indeed another very promising industry that has acquired big outsourcing support here in the Philippines is the medical transcription business. The Philippines prides a large pool of medical professionals, such as doctors, nurses, and medical technologists. The call for medical transcription has increased as U.S. hospitals are now needed by federal regulations to transfer the medical records into data format. Increasingly seventeen medical transcription companies are operatong right now, and has employed 1,200 Filipinos.

Considering the fact that the Philippines does not have the capacity to be a huge offshore provider of web and software services compared to India, it still bids itself promising in the customer service industry. Although India does charge lower than the Philippines. Beacuse for some data encoding work, India charges around a small $4 (U.S.) compared to $10 in the Philippines. Still, more multinationals choose the Philippines over everybody else due to its high quality of work. Furthermore, Filipinos can be good customer service agents not just because they are proficient in speaking in American English but also having a helpful and friendly nature.

Also, increasingly more and more investors choose the Philippines for offshore support. Among the services provided in Philippine-based outsourcing companies include copyediting and indexing; web design and maintenance; data conversion, data warehousing, data capture and data entry; OCR and scanning services; proofreading; encoding and keyboarding; imaging services and graphics design; call center and customer service; abstracting and document conversion; typesetting; and tagging, among others.

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